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                                                        Pit Stops…

Good evening dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. In my last two articles I have written on being Disenchanted a fortnight ago & then Lessons last week. For this issue I would like to discuss recommended methods to assist alleviating the disenchantment & further comments on the lessons one can obtain by doing so.


More than ever, I am beginning to understand how it is imperative for leaders to take time away for thinking & reflection about where we are & where one is headed. Even though intuitively we know this would be good & beneficial for us personally, these times alone rarely make it onto our calendars. I would argue, in order to maintain emotional health & some semblance of spiritual health, one has to make time for personal getaway, escape or simply, head for the hills.

If you have ever watched the Indy 500, you know no one wins the race without making pit stops. Pit stops allow the tires to be changed, adjustments to be made, & the tank to be refuelled. In leadership today, we have to learn how to take personal pit stops so we can consider where we are headed what mid race adjustments need to be made.

“One of the most important rhythms for the life a leader is a constant back & forth motion between times when we are engaged in the battle ~ giving our best energy to take the next hill ~ & times of retreat when we are not ‘on’ & when we do not have to be any particular way for anyone. Time where we can be relaxed & reflect for the sake of our own soul." [1]

Leaders who stay emotionally & perhaps more so, spiritually healthy long term are those who learn this as a rhythm of advance & retreat. There are times when we are focused on the mission & vision & taking on the next hill. But you cannot stay on the front lines forever. You have to rest & regroup. In fact, the more fierce & intense the battle, the more often you have to retreat. [2]

For me, times of personal retreat have had two powerful benefits:

1. Replenishing my soul. When I withdraw & just retire into my quiet times, something happens inside me which is hard to explain. When I first started this, being alone, being quiet was not enjoyable. Even though my body was on escaping, my mind was full throttle. All I could think about was what I needed to do. But over time I have learned to slow my spirit, and I now realize the world can get along just fine without me for a little while. I am learning to replenish my soul in the process.

2.  Re-calibrating my perspective. As I ponder I feel regular shifts in my outlook by reminding me of what is really important. I am reminded of how I get so worked up over things which just are not important. On such occasions I try to remove most of the noise from my world, & I can be quiet enough to simply listen & reflect. [3]



Solitude invites perspective into my life. The goal of solitude is not so much to unplug from my crazy world as it is to change frequencies so I can listen.  “Solitude does not give us the power to win the rat race, but to ignore it altogether.” [4]

“In order to grow in grace, we must be to a great extent alone.  It is not in society where the soul grows most vigorously.  In one single quiet hour it will often make more progress than in days of company with others. It is in the desert the dew falls freshest & the air is purest.” [5]

So, how about it?  Pull up your calendar right now & schedule a twenty-four-hour personal escape. Come join me sometime, I promise, it will not kill you, the world will manage without you, & you will be healthier for it.
Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for the week ahead. I look forward to being with you all again next weekend. [6]

[1] Ruth Haley Barton is an award-winning author, teacher and conference speaker, and founder of the Transforming Center, based in Wheaton, IL. She is a leader in leadership transformation, corporate discernment and spiritual community.
[2] Gary Haugen is CEO and founder of International Justice Mission. Before founding IJM in 1997, Gary was a human rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he focused on crimes of police misconduct. In 1994, he served as the Director of the United Nations' investigation in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide…
[3] Lance Witt is the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live & lead from a healthy soul.
[4] Richard J. Foster is founder, past president & current team member of Renovaré. Having studied at George Fox and Fuller Theological Seminary, Foster has served as a pastor & taught worldwide on spiritual formation.
[5] "Andrew A. Bonar."

Kenn Butler
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